An update from your local ward Councillors
Council elections, May 2018
East Putney residents voted by a big majority for our three Conservative candidates, Ravi, George and Sarah, to represent East Putney on the Council for the next four years. We offer sincere thanks for your faith in us, and pledge to work very hard for you.
Roles on the Council
Ravi will continue as Leader of Wandsworth Council, and will serve on key committees related to professional appointments and senior employees’ remuneration. Ravi will also serve on the Executive of London Councils, and his experience in housing and regeneration sees him actively involved in key external bodies: chairing ‘Central London Forward’ and co-chairing the Nine Elms Strategy Board.
George will chair the committee overseeing Education and Childrens’ Services, and the re-shaped group overseeing Education and Standards. He will also serve on committees overseeing childrens’ social care, council grants, planning applications and staff appointments.
Sarah will serve on the committees overseeing Adult Care and Health, and Community Services and Open Spaces. She will also help the committee that supports health care in South West London and Surrey.
All three of your Councillors will serve on the Corporate Parenting Panel, alongside Councillors from other parties, supporting the work of Wandsworth’s Children Looked After in Care (CLICK) team. This Panel recognises that all Councillors have a duty as ‘corporate parents’ to children in care, regardless of political party.
Surgeries: Residents are reminded that you can bring any local issues of concern to your Councillors at our weekly surgeries at 10m-11am on Saturdays at the Disraeli Road Library.
Kersfield Estate new homes proposal
Ravi at Kersfield Estate
Consultation has begun with residents on East Putney’s Kersfield Estate about the possibility of building 37 new homes there by carefully extending existing blocks. The proposal is part of a major Council drive to build 1,000 more homes on pockets of under-used council land, with a majority of the homes for low-cost rent or shared-ownership with the Council.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “Kersfield Estate has real potential in this initiative, and can lead the way in helping us to build more much-needed local homes. We are one of the only councils who prioritise local people for new homes, so we aim to offer the homes first to Wandsworth residents and workers. Council tenants living nearby will be able ‘downsize’ to a new council home if they would like to. We will also prioritise overcrowded households, to help residents’ sons and daughters to go on living in the borough, as well as helping workers who are vital to our local services. We will fully consult with Kersfield residents at every stage, and we look forward to hearing residents’ own ideas.”
Ravi honoured as ‘Housing Hero’
Meanwhile, Ravi has been highly commended in this year’s prestigious ‘Housing Heroes’ Awards, for his work in delivering thousands of new homes in Wandsworth. The Awards, run by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the trade journal Inside Housing, are judged by a panel of industry experts. Ravi’s commendation was for the priority he has given to tackling London’s housing problems and his record as Council Leader, which since 2011 has seen 19,000 net residential homes under construction, with over 9,000 delivered in the last five years; the drive to build 1,000 new homes on under-used Council land; two major estate regenerations delivering 3,000 new homes and new community, library and leisure facilities, GP practices and a new school; and his role in regenerating Nine Elms, which is creating 20,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs.
Ravi said: “I’m delighted that our efforts in Wandsworth have been commended in this way. We aim to build as many homes as we can, in places where people want to live and of a sufficiently high quality to satisfy the aspirations of the people who will live in them. It is about more than just building homes; it is about building and supporting communities. That is of key importance to us.”
Putney High School
Cllrs Sarah Binder and George Crivelli, pictured above with Mrs Suzie Longstaff, Headmistress of Putney High School, attended the June meeting of the local Neighbourhood Working Group where representatives of the school and local residents discussed school development plans and local parking issues, which have been a cause of concern.
Sarah said: “In May, the school held an exhibition where local people could see and discuss the proposed development of an existing building into a new state of the art science and technology lab. The school assured local residents that it is working to minimise disruption while the new building is constructed. Planning permission has been applied for and if approved, the school hopes to start work in Spring 2019. The school continues to work to ensure parking issues for local residents on Lytton Grove are kept to a minimum, and to this end has launched a new bus service to encourage parents to stop bringing children to school by car, and has launched wrap around care for the junior school as well.”
New paving for Lytton Grove
Meanwhile Lytton Grove residents now have new pavements along the entire street, which will make walking or pushing prams or mobility scooters easier and safer.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “This is part of a big Council spending plan over the next two years. We will spend £7.7 million on improving transport infrastructure, which includes resurfacing roads and pavements. We are also looking to see if we can resurface the road in Lytton Grove, and we plan to repaint faded road markings, which are exacerbating local parking problems.”
Gressenhall Road Mosque
Gressenhall Rd Mosque
Cllr George Crivelli chaired the June meeting of the London Mosque Liaison Group, where Mosque representatives and other residents around Gressenhall Road work to resolve concerns about congestion, parking and Mosque building developments.
George said: "The Mosque representatives reported that construction work at the Mosque is not expected to start until 2020. The Caliph is expected to take residency at a new site near Farnham. As a lot of Mosque traffic is generated by his presence, once the Farnham site is completed it is hoped there will be less traffic around Gressenhall Road. The Mosque will also be developing satellite sites, which it hopes will divert worshippers from the Gressenhall Road Mosque".
The Mosque also said it was working to address the problem of wrongly parked cars by actively pursuing attendees and challenging their behaviour if they park outside bays or in front of residents’ driveways.
George added: "Residents expressed gratitude to the Mosque for proactively challenging inconsiderate attendees, as this had seen an improvement in badly parked cars and littering. A Travel Plan Working Party has also been established, made up of Councillors, residents’ groups, Council Officers and Mosque representatives, to address current and future travel issues in relation to the Mosque and the local area. It’s really great to see the community working together to resolve local issues."
Flytip on Ashburton Estate
This horrible fly-tip on East Putney’s Ashburton Estate was recently reported to Councillors. Your Council is determined to crack down on fly-tippers and littering.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: "Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable. It upsets residents and we are working with local communities to stamp it out. Last year we issued over 5,000 on the spot fines to offenders. People who pollute our borough have to realise they can end up in court, paying a hefty fine and court costs. Our enforcement and legal teams are working successfully to prosecute those who illegally dump waste.”
There is no need to dump larger waste items, as the Council will remove them for a modest fee. Residents can also help to combat fly-tipping. Be careful not to employ ‘cowboy’ waste collectors who are responsible for some of the worst cases. You can also report fly-tips using an app from the Council’s website: download it here.
Or you can phone 020 8871 6396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Putney High Street
Cllr George Crivelli attended a Putney Society meeting in June where residents and Council officers discussed the Council’s plans for improving Putney High Street. Residents expressed concerns about pollution and congestion. Nick O'Donnell, the Council’s Assistant Director for Traffic and Engineering, briefed the meeting on the Council's plans to make the High Street more pedestrian-friendly and less polluted. Nicola Grant from Positively Putney, the Business Improvement District, talked about its work and efforts to stimulate and promote High Street shopping.
George said: "Residents clearly felt the High Street must become more attractive to shoppers. Local small businesses are suffering as more people shop online, and retailers are struggling as more people have home deliveries. We need to make the High Street more customer-friendly and support small businesses in an increasingly competitive environment. The Business Improvement District is looking at initiatives to promote Putney and make people aware of what our High Street offers, while the Council can support shops by making the High Street safer and cleaner, improving the experience for shoppers and visitors".
The plans for the High Street re-vamp are extensive and interesting. You can find out more about them here.
For more about the Business Improvement District, click Positively Putney.
‘Pop-up’ music venue proposal for Putney Exchange car park withdrawn
Meanwhile a controversial proposal for a 500-capacity ‘pop-up’ drink, food and music venue in the rooftop car park of Putney Exchange was withdrawn in April.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “This will have come as a relief to the many residents who objected. I shared the concerns that the proposal for a 4 year late night licence for 500 people would not give benefits for the High Street, would cause late night noise for residents and deprive local residents of 50 car parking spaces in Putney Exchange. We understand a new proposal may be put forward and we will watch closely to ensure that any proposal mitigates these concerns and offers real benefit to the local economy.”
Wandsworth has joined with four other councils in Hillingdon, Windsor and Maidenhead, Richmond, and Hammersmith & Fulham to seek judicial review of the Government’s decision to support a third Heathrow runway. The councils are challenging the Government on the grounds of air quality, climate change and environmental assessment, including failing properly to deal with noise and access impacts. The councils say, for example, that the Government has misapplied the law on air quality, and that its Airports National Policy Statement fails to recognise the scale of the challenge posed by more trips to and from Heathrow, which could have unacceptable effects on the transport network and traffic pollution.
Cllr Ravi Govindia said: “The councils have shown extraordinary patience. We have given the Government numerous opportunities to address our concerns and answer our questions. All the evidence shows that a new Heathrow runway will be bad for the environment in our boroughs and bad for the health of our residents.”
The five objecting councils have notified the Secretary of State for Transport that they intend to seek judicial review. The Government must now reply to their letter. If the Transport Secretary does not agree to quashing the National Policy Statement, the councils will bring judicial review proceedings.
Wandsworth Grant Fund
Are you involved in a community or voluntary organisation that could make good use of a grant of £500 to £10,000? Round 9 of the Wandsworth Grant Fund is open until 20 August to apply for projects beginning after 1 December 2018. Advice sessions for applicants are being held in August and you can download guidance and an application form on the Council website. If you miss this one, Round 10 will be open until 17 December, for projects beginning after 1 April next year.
Cllr Sarah Binder said: “It would be great to see some applications from East Putney. Council officers are very helpful in advising people on how to apply, and you can find out more about the Wandsworth Grant Fund here."
Do you run a local business?
If so, you could enter it for the annual Wandsworth Business Awards, which recognise the borough’s most innovative, successful and customer-friendly firms. The awards are organised by Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce and the Council is one of the key sponsors, alongside local firms and South Thames College.
There are twelve categories where your business might win an award, and the deadline to enter is 7 September. To find out more, click here.
Cllrs Ravi Govindia CBE, George Crivelli & Sarah Binder
August 7, 2018